A: We have two girls, current ages 12 and 16. They have been in public school their whole lives until we left the USA in October of 2014. We began homeschooling AND we enrolled them in local school in Pedasi, Panama for a year. But wait, that’s not all. They also attended a formal language school 2 to 3 hours a week while we were there.
After Panama we took a break from traditional school and did a lot of eclectic homeschooling, including online classes, workshops, documentaries and a lot of museums. We have enjoyed that combination and feel like it produces the educational goals we have for them. Language schools offer a structure, education and a great connection to the community and we take language classes whenever we are stationary for awhile. Homeschool fills in the gaps.
Older Daughter has thrived with this combination and does not plan to ever return to public school. Younger Daughter seems to enjoy the school setting and may return to public school if and when we return to the USA permanently. Both of them are interested in how public schools are different in other countries. Now that they can communicate in Spanish, nothing will be as difficult as walking into public school, sticking out like a sore thumb AND having no language skills. It’s cringe-worthy how hard those first few months in Panama were.
Upon arrival in Colombia, the girls asked to check out school once again, even Older Introverted Daughter wanted to go. So we found a private Catholic school and decked them out in the uniforms and off they went, day after day, to school. The goals were met in short order: friends, increased language skills and a lot of learning about Colombian culture.
Haley is now taking her GED to finish her high school education and free herself up to pursue her own interests, not those chosen for her. The world is her oyster and we are here to help guide her as she discovers it.